2011​ NEWS ARCHIVE​​​​​​​
Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only​


JAN. 28, 2011

Work of Abstract Artist, Celebrated Musician on Display at Art Gallery

The Art Gallery will host a rare exhibition of more than 30 abstract collages produced by celebrated singer, songwriter, producer and longtime visual artist Bob Neuwirth, who only infrequently exhibits his art in public.

Though primarily known for his music career, Neuwirth has never stopped being a visual artist. He began his career as an art student in Boston. While there, Neuwirth became immersed in Cambridge’s local blues-folk music scene, and soon began playing shows across the country and around the world.

Over the years Neuwirth maintained close working relationships with Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and John Cale, while seeing his written work performed by Bonnie Raitt, T Bone Burnett, Kris Kristofferson and many others.

In the mid-1960’s Neuwirth worked and traveled with Dylan, including time spent on the chaotic tours depicted in the films ‘Don’t Look Back’ and ‘Eat the Document.’ Neuwirth also filmed the Monterey Pop Festival, attended Woodstock, and later co-wrote the song ‘Mercedes Benz’ with old friend Janis Joplin. 

However, during his long and illustrious music career Neuwirth never stopped creating visual art. He maintains studios in New York City and Santa Monica, and is actively engaged in the Venice, CA art scene. 

“I met Bob in the 1980’s while we both served on the Artist’s Advisory Committee for the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Medical Center collection, and was struck with his great energy, honesty and humor,” said Larry Hurst, COC Art Gallery director. “His work exemplifies his free spirit and creative integrity. I am very pleased that he has agreed to this exhibition.”

The exhibition Bob Neuwirth: Collages will begin Monday, Feb. 7, and run through Thursday, March 3. A special artist’s reception for Neuwirth will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, in the COC Art Gallery, located on the college’s Valencia campus.

The COC Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Visitors unable to visit the gallery during these hours are welcome to call (661) 362-3612 to make a viewing appointment. All gallery exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.

JAN. 28, 2011

Fast Track Institute to Host Job Information Express

The Fast Track Institute will host an all inclusive Job Information Express orientation event designed to familiarize job seekers with the various opportunities offered by the Institute — and get them on the “Fast Track” to a new job and promising career!

The Fast Track Institute’s Job Information Express will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center located on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus.

Throughout the morning Fast Track instructors and college representatives will be on hand to meet with potential students and:

  • Discuss the available career paths, the immediate job opportunities associated with each program and introduce potential students to local employers and industry representatives
  • Provide course overviews, including details about class formats, start dates, course schedules and class content
  • Review registration requirements and help potential students navigate the registration process
  • Explain associated course fees, and present potential students with available sources of financial aid and/or tuition subsidies

“The Job Information Express will be an all inclusive starting point for community members who have the desire to work in one of the Fast Track industries, but don’t yet have the job skills to move in that direction,” said Pete Bellas, COC Dean of Economic Development.

“There are local companies that need to fill positions now,” added Bellas. “This event will be dedicated to helping people get on the path to a new job and promising career.”

Fast Track programs allow participants to quickly develop entry-level job skills and immediately begin working in local businesses and industries where applicants with up-to-date training are in high demand.

Most Fast Track courses will take only weeks to complete, with participants then able to use their new skill competencies to quickly secure employment and begin a new career.

“This is the type of specialized job training that can lead to a new job opportunity in two or three months, as opposed to two or three years,” Bellas said.

Courses are typically offered as intensive day and evening classes held throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. Courses being offered in spring 2011 include:

  • Office Administration, beginning Monday, February 23, 2011
  • CNC Machinist Training, beginning Wednesday, February 28, 2011
  • Administrative Medical Assistant, beginning Monday, March 7, 2011
  • Welding Technology Open Lab, Thursday, February 17, 2011
  • Welding LADBS Test Preparation, Saturday, February 26, 2011

All courses are fee-based and paid for by the student and/or another outside financial assistance agency, including the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) system or the Santa Clarita WorkSource Center’s tuition subsidization program. Details about such programs will be available at the Job Information Express.

JAN. 24, 2011

Measure C Bond Measure Comes to a Close

The books have been closed on Measure C — and all reviews indicate the bond measure was a blockbuster in all respects.

The general-obligation bond measure approved by voters in 2001 was responsible for more than doubling the square footage of educational facilities on the Valencia campus. It also was used to purchase the land on which an entirely new campus was built in Canyon Country. 

In the end, the estimated $82.1 million bond measure generated $84.3 million in proceeds that were leveraged to generate more than $132 million in value.  An additional $7.8 million came from interest and refunding of bond proceeds, and the state kicked in $40.5 million in match funding.

JAN. 12, 2011

Theatre Department to Hold Spring Auditions

In February the College of the Canyons theatre department will hold a pair of open auditions for students and community members interested in participating in either the department’s spring production of ‘Death of a Salesman’ or the college’s annual New Works Festival (NWF).

“We are combining the auditions for two of this spring’s productions into the same dates so that we can attract as many talented actors as possible,” said Paul Wickline, COC theatre department chair. 

One of the most important plays in modern theatre, Arthur Miller’s 1949 classic, ‘Death of a Salesman’ tells the story of Willy Loman, a down-on-his-luck, middle-aged salesman, unable to comprehend how or why he never achieved the success and fortune he dreamed of. 

Faced with the realization that his life is a failure, Willy becomes further and further estranged from his family, and begins to lose contact with reality. 

Powerful, disturbing and relevant, ‘Death of a Salesman’ is a modern tragedy, seen as a caustic attack on the American dream, and society’s obsession with material wealth and the trappings of success. 

“‘Death of a Salesman’ is arguably the finest, most profound American play ever written,” Wickline said. “Though Willy and Linda Loman have already been cast, there are still several fabulous roles available for actors of all ages to audition for.”

A collaboration between the college’s theatre and English departments, the NWF gives aspiring writers the opportunity to see their work transmitted from the page to the stage through a unique workshop experience that focuses on the writer’s work — and helps bring it to the next level.

Works selected for inclusion in the festival — including monologues, scenes, 10-minute plays, single acts and full-length two-act plays — are then cast, produced and performed live on stage at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Black Box Theatre.

“The productions being featured in this year’s New Works Festival will offer dozens of actors the opportunity to originate new roles and work alongside some of the region’s most talented new playwrights,” Wickline said.

Preliminary auditions for ‘Death of a Salesman’ and the New Works Festival will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 8, and Wednesday, February 9. 

Actors are asked to prepare a one to two minute contemporary monologue to audition. Participants should plan to attend only one of the audition times, and arrive at 6:45 p.m. in order to complete paperwork and sign up for an audition time slot. 

Participants may choose to audition for ‘Death of a Salesman’ and/or the NWF, depending on their preference. Callback auditions will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, February 10.

All auditions and callbacks will be held in the PAC Black Box Theatre, or adjoining Pico Hall classrooms, located on the College of the Canyons Valencia Campus.

Actors who are cast in either production will be expected to enroll in the course Theatre 190: Theatre Production for the spring 2011 semester.

JAN. 12, 2011

Six Santa Clarita Sculptors Come to College Art Gallery

As the first exhibition of 2011, the College of the Canyons Art Gallery will be showcasing the talents of six local sculptors in the aptly titled exhibition Six Santa Clarita Sculptors.

Featuring the work of Jim Backman, Scott Bruckner, Dianne Foderaro, Sue Petrovit, Dale Thayer and COC welding instructor Idelle Tyzbir, Six Santa Clarita Sculptors opens Wednesday, Jan. 12, and will run through Thursday, Jan. 27.

The works featured in this exhibition include stone carvings, woodcarvings, metal sculptures, wall reliefs, folk art and other welded steel and glass pieces.

“Because we have traditionally tried to feature the work of local artists during the college’s winter intersession, I felt this exhibition would be a natural fit for the gallery,” said Larry Hurt, COC Art Gallery director. “It will be very exciting to see the diverse work of these six Santa Clarita sculptors.”

A special artists’ reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 12, in the COC Art Gallery.

The COC Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Visitors unable to visit the gallery during these hours are welcome to call (661) 362-3612 to make a viewing appointment.

All gallery exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.

JAN. 10, 2011 

Peking Acrobats Promise to Make Audiences Flip

This month, the Peking Acrobats — a troupe of China’s most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists and gymnasts — will bring their country’s 2,000-year-old tradition of stunning acrobatics to the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons.

Over their 24 previous years of existence, the Peking Acrobats have thrilled sold-out audiences, headlined tours, entertained at private events, performed in TV shows and movies including ‘Ocean’s 11’ — and even set a Guinness world record for the “human chair stack” by balancing six people, atop six stacked chairs, 21 feet up in the air, without safety nets!

The Peking Acrobats are already world-renowned for their daring aerial maneuvers, treacherous wire walking, cycling tricks, precision tumbling, somersaulting, gymnastics displays, and extraordinary exhibits of balance, agility and grace. 

However, for their 2011 25th Silver Anniversary North American Tour the Peking Acrobats are expected to pull out all the stops, making these performances more spectacular and memorable than ever before! 

Featuring a selection of new acts, some new twists on some old favorites and, as always, incredible costumes and special effects, for the first time ever the Peking Acrobats have invited the Women’s Peace Orchestra of China to accompany them on stage.

Having won awards in musical competitions throughout Asia, this renowned female ensemble will blend their musical talents with the on-stage artistry of the acrobats to create a magnificent display of pageantry and performance that all audiences will enjoy!

“This extraordinary performance by the Peking Acrobats will be a memorable way for families to experience, and celebrate, this traditional Chinese art form,” said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director. “We look forward to continually exposing Santa Clarita Valley audiences to more culturally unique art forms and performances.”

The Peking Acrobats will perform on the PAC main stage at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011, as part of the troupe’s limited 40-city North American Tour. Tickets range in price from $30 to $55, and can be purchased through the PAC Box Office. 

About the Peking Acrobats

The Peking Acrobats’ ability to perform the astounding is rooted in centuries of Chinese history and folk art. Records of acrobatic acts can be found as early as the Ch’in Dynasty (221 B.C. — 207 B.C.).

According to Fu Qifeng, author of ‘Chinese Acrobatics Through the Ages,’ acrobatics originated from the Chinese people’s daily life, drawing from their experiences in work and war. However, during China’s Warring States Period the art form became more widespread, as it was believed that acrobatics could steal people’s will and increase their physical strength and accuracy of their movements.

During the Han Dynasty (207 B.C. — 220 A.D.) acrobatics flourished, and the collection of juggling, tumbling and magic acts came to be known as the “Hundred Entertainments.” 

According to Qifeng, it was during this time that Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty presented a grand acrobatic performance designed to entertain a collection of foreign dignitaries — thus marking the first time in Chinese history that acrobatic art was presented for diplomatic purposes. After the performance the foreign guests were so impressed by what they saw that they agreed to enter into military and trade alliances with the Emperor.

Today, because of the unusual and difficult feats involved with acrobatics, high honor is conferred upon those skilled enough to become acrobats. In China there are approximately 100,000 students studying at schools dedicated to the art of acrobatics. 

However, only the very best of these performers will ever be selected as members of an elite world-touring troupe like the Peking Acrobats.